Organizers of California Women’s March cancel event over concerns that it’s ‘too white’
According to Newsweek, the primary organizers of a Women’s March that was to take place in Eureka, California has been cancelled due to concerns that those who would participate in the event would not accurately reflect the diversity of the community. In a statement released by the founders on Facebook, they explain that following conversations with “social change leaders” they will be canceling the march:
“Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community. Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach. Our goal is that planning will continue and we will be successful in creating an event that will build power and community engagement through connection between women that seek to improve the lives of all in our community,” the statement read.
Some users on Facebook pushed back on the idea that because the march was not diverse or that it should be cancelled. A user named Amy Sawyer Longwrote commented, “I was appalled to be honest, I understand wanting a diverse group. However, we live in a predominantly white area… not to mention how is it beneficial to cancel? No matter the race people still want their voices heard.” According to data from the last available Census, Humbolt County, where Eureka is located, is only about 1% Black, 2% Asian, 6% Native American, 12% Hispanic and 74% white.
The cancelation of the event also comes on the heels of a Women’s March in Chicago being canceled amid accusations that the national body is anti-Semitic. These accusations are due largely to association with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam who has targeted Jewish groups in the past, and heightened scrutiny after the shooting by a white supremacist at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
After Women’s March co-founder Tamika Mallory’s attended the Nation of Islam’s annual Savior Day event which she defended, she told media organizations that she attends the event yearly because the Nation of Islam helped her when she was young. Mallory later denounced Farrakhan’s remarks, although many pointed out that Farrakhan remains a convenient target of white people who want a Black scapegoat for anti-Semitic views.
In New York, there is a movement spearheaded by Black women which seeks to reclaim the time and space of Black and other women of color from the largely white-dominated Women’s March movement. In Albany, Jamaica Miles is leading a march which is being supported by the Capital District Women of Color committee and various groups led by people of color. A post for the march reads, “All are welcome to march for equity, equality and justice for all. Women of Color will lead the march and all others are welcome to join and follow and listen to the speakers at the rally and our call to action lifting up the voices of impacted people.”